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Is It Time To Dam Iran?

June 1, 2012

Stratfor reports:

Tehran cancelled a $2 billion contract with Chinese engineering firm Sinohydro Corp. to build a hydroelectric dam in Iran’s Lorestan province

 

Now here is an opportunity for REAL creative diplomacy.  Since part of Iran’s justification for their nuclear program is for internal energy needs, why couldn’t our government reach out and suggest that U.S. companies be allowed to bid on this project?  Of course, this runs counter to all of the current clamoring for sanctions+ and military action.

But when one has a logjam, you typically can’t break it up by continuing to push the logs in the same direction.  The logs just keep getting more jammed up.  So, instead it calls for something – sometimes an explosive charge, to break up the jam.  It seems the same way with diplomacy.  The current round of negotiations with Iran seem to be déjà vu all over again.  There is a need for a type of creative, out-of-the-box action to break the logjam. 

 It seems that providing U.S. knowhow, project management and efficiency to a peaceful, energy project (which could be used as a face-saving reason for Iran to scale back its nuclear program) could go a long way to setting a new tone in relations with a country that cannot simply be “put in its place”.  Iran is going to continue to be a key player in the region no matter what the West and Israel try to do – simply because of geography, economy and religion.  It can be argued that continuing the lack of ongoing diplomatic relations and the presentation of negotiating positions that contain clear non-starters (for several reasons) for the Iranian regime, actually gives the West and Israel much less control on the outcome of the current standoff.

Time for creativity.

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